tv Discussion Examines Lone Wolf Terrorism Threat CSPAN August 5, 2017 11:49am-1:25pm EDT
bridge anything like that in our part of the world. was an unfamiliarity on how a big thing like this was supposed to behave. people excited about it, there was a certain musical gracefulness of a bridge like this. wanted toget, just think there was nothing wrong. announcer: watch abuse programs and more as cities tour takes you to tacoma, washington on c-span twos book tv. -- watch for these programs and more on cities tour as it takes you to tacoma washington on c-span two's book tv. announcer: now, a discussion on the motivations and taxes of attacksf terrace and -- on long wills -- attacks of lone wolf terrorists.
this is an hour. >> good afternoon, everybody. good afternoon and welcome to the washington institute for near east policy, and to the latest in our stein program on counterterrorism and intelligence lecture series. tur. it is my pleasure to have on the podium today, a speaker from marlene mazell, on leave from israel, an adjunct scholar here at this is used, and i am matthew levitt, director of the counterterrorism program here at the density. thank you, for joining us. terrorist acts conducted by individuals acting on their own, inspired by others, completely alone, not so much alone, it is not a new phenomenon. but for the past few years, we've seen an alarming increase.
and a number of what some would describe as lone wolf s -- wolves, actors or offenders. isis has been proactive in using their global social media presence in particular, to conscript individuals, some who have personal problems and some inspired by belonging to a higher cause, to commit acts in their name. especially if they cannot be able to join the islamic state, in its so-called caliphate, when that existed. it is now falling apart in iraq and area. but meanwhile, in other parts of the world, and israel in particular we are seeing a sharp , rise as well, of individuals taking it upon themselves to carry out acts of violence without having being recruited , by or trained by or armed or funded by an actual group. so the question for today's session is whether this is a looming threat, or a passing fad.
so i am very pleased to have three good friends on the panel today, dr. boaz ganor is the dean at the ict counterterrorism center, and the law school at the interdisciplinary center, university in israel. bruce hoffman, is director of both the center for security studies and security studies program at georgetown university , edmund wolf will of service, ell is here onz leave from her position as director of counterterrorism at the israeli ministry of justice. marlene is a good friend, and i 'st on the board for boaz counterterrorism is that you can israel. i will also be teaching this coming semester in bruce's
program. happens, i happen to have some expertise on the matter. [laughter] boaz, thenstart with go to bruce, then marlene. then i will moderate from the table, the q&a sessions until we and at 2:00. boaz gainor, please. and i would add, please silence your cell phones. >> thank you very much, matt. it is a pleasure to be here at the washington institute, and in this distinguished panel with you. i was given only 10 minutes, and it takes me more to stop might -- stop my engines, but i will try the impossible and try to squeeze my thoughts into the 10 minutes of the session. i would like to open with trying to allocate where the phenomenon , of the lone wolf stems, so let
-- among the overall different types of terrorist attacks altogether reared so, let me start by classification. i will start by classifying different perpetrators of terrorism. the first type is the one we are discussing today, i call it the personal initiative attack. it is more known under the title of the "lone wolf." who is the lone wolf, it is an individual, that has been radicalized, by this or the aftersource, and one day being radicalized, he decides that he wants to do something about it. he has two options. one option is to join a terrorist organization, maybe to iraq orle fighter syria and the other option is to , become a homegrown terrorist. to conduct a terrorist attack in the territory that he is living in. this is the lone wolf attacker. he has been inspired by a terrorist organization, and many
scholars today questioned the fact that he is a lone wolf altogether, because almost always, there is some connection to a terrorist organizations. or at least, inspiration which has been done by a terrorism organization. i would use the term lone wolf, because the lone wolf, being inspired by a terrorist organizations, doesn't have any operational size with the terrorist organization. meaning that the terrorist organization is not necessarily involved in the initiation, planning preparation and , execution of the attack altogether. the second group of perpetrators, is what i call be independent network. they are practically a bunch of lone wolf, a group of loan -- lone wolves. this group, usually a small group of 4, 5, people together, usually friends or family members in some cases, for example the san bernardino husband and wife -- an independent network.
why? es?roup of lone wolv because it is an inspiration without the involvement, the operational involvement of a terrorist organization. by the way, if you were to ask them before the attacks, they would refer to themselves as activists of isis or al qaeda or whatever, and after the attack the terrorist organization would take responsibility for what they do but since they do not , have any operational ties with the organization, they were just inspired. the third type of a terrorist attack i refer to as organized terrorism. either sleeper cells or infiltrated cells. this is a different ballgame altogether. here we are talking about a group, it could be an individual that has been recorded to a terrorist organization, trained, and the terrorist organization
is involved in all the operational background and activities that launch at the end of the day. i have good news and bad news. when i compare the loan wolf attack to organize terrorism, the good news is that usually lone wolf attacks are not that lethal. the number of casualties are limited. of coarse there are exceptions. nice was an exception. how many people can be hurt with a lone wolf attack? most of the attacks, the majority are using weapons, a knife or and ask or a run down in some cases they are using light weapons, very seldom do they use explosive devices. when we are talking about this phenomenon, it is limited, the number are limited. when we compare that to the organized terrorism, the organized terror cell conducted attack inn paris, the the airport of belgium or --
this is organized terrorism. these are mass casualties. that is the good news in reference to the lone wolf. terms, ig passed explain in a minute why, we used to believe that the intelligence is incapable of dealing with this phenomenon of lone wolf, why? traditional intelligence and communication intelligence is based on the fact that there is some kind of a discourse between at least two people that share a secret, the secret of what they're planning to attack. even -- either you have an agent that is telling you that or you have the ability to wiretap and listen. there is a need for conversation. in the lone wolf, there is no conversation in most cases, everything starts in and's with the mind of one person. intelligence seems to be useless in this group -- regard. in this regard.
the classification of the terrorist attacks, i would suggest we do not have an type -- enough time to drill into it but we have two cases in our minds will we are trying to classify different types of terror attacks, one case has to do with the level of involvement of the terrorist organization in the attack starting with knowing -- and ending with full organized terrorist attack by the organization. the other scale would be the level of independence of the attacker. is he really independent or did he share a secret with his .riends or other peers did he consult with anybody, did accomplices they gave him passive or active support, does he conduct the like anith others independent network and so forth. once we have the scales we can andack to the specification
we can see how organize terrorism falls into the scale and we can judge which attack, what type of attack was conducted at the time. it is not just a theoretical discussion, it is important because we need different operational concepts of terrorism activities in reference to lone, local networks, and organized terrorism altogether. let's zoom in on the subject matter of the lone wolf. when we are talking about the lone wolf attack, usually the attacks, molotov cocktails, bombing, and israel bulldozing, running down with the bulldozer. in some cases shootings and ied bombings altogether. one exception, suicide attacks were not conducted by lone wolf. we need to define the term.
the way that i describe suicide attacks is the type of the person who is strapping themselves to a suicide belt or carrying an explosive device and the button.ushing those are always organized terrorism, there is always an organization behind it. of the dayat the end that there is one individual conducting this but this is organized terrorism, not lone wolf attacks. when we are talking about the rationale, the best news i can give you today that based on my experience in counterterrorism, i am in this field more than 35 years and i can tell you the base of my ex. in diameter generalizing, there will be a rationale actor. are khaki in general living cost and benefit. and choosing the alternative which they believe is more efficient than costly. that is what rational people do, that is what you do, what i do
every day, that is what the terrorists are doing but they have a different cost-benefit calculation that we have in the western society and in other places. they have the subjective calculus of cost and benefit. a group counterterrorism expert needs to take out his own considerations, his own cost-benefit calculations and put on his head the counterparty, enemy calculation. the cost-benefit calculation. the bad news is that practically there is no one generic calculation. the cost-benefit of isis is ,ifferent from al qaeda different from isis, different from hezbollah. of isis todayions are different and will be different in one years time. the bad news i have is when we are talking about lone wolf's, it is difficult to understand the rationale because it is the rationale of an individual and
not of a group or an ideological concept. i want to show you for pictures that have been taken in israel in which the common denominator are four lone wolves that have been arrested after stabbing people in the street. they are being handcuffed and to thescorted through -- police car. probably they are going to spend life in jail. there is another common denominator and you will see it immediately. in the pictures. the other common denominator is the smile on the face. this is not a coincidence. visited chinatown yesterday in new york and there was an in front of my face, the nypd arrested the criminal there. he was walking to the police car handcuffed, he did not smile but they are smiling and they are smiling because i would argue, this is the deflection of the
calculus of cost-benefit. what they believe is what they did right now am a they're going to get high price, they will spend life in prison probably thingey did the honorable to do. they did something which is more beneficial than costly from their point of view. this is our task as good experts to crack down the smile, to understand the calculus and then continuity of counter messages and so on and so forth. i use the term jihadi zombies to explain this concept. the first reason, you have to understand what zombies are and second the term zombie does not have any shred of honor. i want to take this concept of the honorable thing to do from them. you would see in the other zombie another jihadi next to my compass and israel, stabbing every person that is waiting in a public bus stop altogether.
that is jihadi zombie. it is not just israel. this is the jihadi zombie that was conducting an attack in london.n the suburbs of and not running away. actually covering his head -- hands with the blood of the victim and preaching to everybody who was ready to take a video clip about his reasons behind it. also united states, this is the 2014, theompson and african-american who converted to islam and went to wage jihad against nypd officers. nutshell, one new phenomenon that we see is the growing threat of lone wolves, radicalized islam is terrorists which are converts. we had other cases of converts including in israel. ews that converted to islam.
it is much easier to radicalize theperson becoming newcomer. last and not least and i would limit myself, i would say that we used to believe that intelligence is useless because of the secret kept in their mind. we were wrong. instead of medication sources intelligence we have found that we have the ability to understand, maybe to predict what is going to happen. many of those activists give prior warning because they want to brag about it, they do the honorable thing to do and they want -- wonder that people believe that is with they did were the honorable thing to do
and they are sharing that over the social network. this is an example who is saying allah name of all a -- who decided to become a martyr. this is a warning. the attack in berlin is an outcome of the understanding of the attacker. the lesson learned from the attack that occurred before at random, isis published what should be done if you want to conduct an effective rundown of activity. after the attack they are becoming [inaudible] and what we see is a vicious cycle and i will conclude with that. starting with the excitement coming from the -- incitement coming from the organization and moving on with the radicalization process and they decide to do something about it before conducting the attack. in many cases he justified it and publish a vertical platform
and this is a fertilizer for further incitement and this is epidemic, becoming epidemic phenomenon. the good news and want to and with -- i want to and with is counter terrorists can watch that and understand it and analyze it and maybe even prevent it. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for speaking today and to serve on this distinguished panel. let me focus my remarks a bit more on -- and talk about isis .r the islamic state or isil and start with a very broad observation that i think boaz would agree with me and i see many people in the audience i
have known for decades in the counterterrorism world and i daresay they would as well. of thethe pathologies study of terrorism and counterterrorism is the collective amnesia or a short memory. this is not that surprising considering the inbox of the threats one has to contend with. one of the problems or challenges is it crowds out historical perspective. in that respect, let me read you and think about who would have said this and when it was said. "tracking down america's and the jews is not impossible. killing them with a single bullet, a step, or device made up of a popular mix of explosives or hitting them with an iron rod is not impossible. burning down their property with molotov cocktails is not difficult. with the available means, small
groups can prove to be a frightening horror for the americans and the jews." any takers? anyone want to guess? al-zawhiri in knights under the profit -- prophet's banner. was operation enduring freedom, he nevertheless had time to write the statement that was designed to resurrect al qaeda and carry on the struggle. the only problem was that it fell on deaf ears. the phenomenon lone wolf terrorism did not materialize until over a decade later with the rise of isis. and that we have the statements nonny -- al adhnani.
propagandist par excellence of isis. his remarks were almost similar. if you are not able to find an ied or bullet then signal out the disbelieving american, frenchmen, or their allies. smash his head or slaughter him with a knife or run her -- run him over in your car or throw him down from a high place or choke him or poison him. it is precisely isis's innovative revolutionary use of social media that has transformed the nature of terrorism in a short span of time but also empowered this group in less than three years to have become one of the most challenging threats we face and one of the most i would argue you will see durable terrorist organizations. you do not have that ability to be revolutionary and innovative and [indiscernible]
stay at leasto for the foreseeable future. one of the main reasons for that has been their ability to harness and exploit social media and to summon this broad universe of lone wolves in addition to the more professional terrorist. there is another point where isis unfortunately has been enormously innovative which will have more immediate consequences for us in years to come. the 9/11 model of terrorism, the attacks from september 11, 2001 involve professional terrorists trained overseas, deployed against their target, operating under a very clear hierarchy, command-and-control structure with strict operational orders. that was to traditional model of terrorism. the loan wolf model that boaz described to law enforcement and authorities in a different way. tail, they have no are harder to predict.
fortunately, their violence is more limited but nonetheless, their ability to overwhelm, preoccupied, and distract law enforcement and intelligence and security services is enormous. and yet, what we see is that the most formidable terrorist organization are also the ones that are most innovative and most dynamic. unfortunately like isis. isis is in recent months pioneered -- has pioneered a third variance that goes against the top-down form of terrorism, the 9/11 model, let's say to the bottom-up form of terrorism, the lone wolf. now they have the hybrid which presents new and serious challenges to law enforcement and intelligence. this is the new hybrid of enablers that take advantage of lone wolves, individuals that have no prior connection to a terrorist organization that may never have met a terrorist in
their life, maybe have not left there on community to train and go overseas, as we've seen in recent years, they are manipulated, exploited, ultimately inspired and animated acts of violence in support of or on behalf of the terrorist organization's aims. thenew twist is organizations are providing individuals with specific, often very detailed intelligence and targeting instructions. thus empowering them, making the lone wolf even more of a threat than they have been to date. this new emergence of the different challenge was brought home to me at least last march, when isis released a hit list or targeting list of 8000 names of americans from around the country. when i attempted to print it out, it was not formatted terribly well but it ran to 25 pages.
individuals,mes of both work and home addresses, people who live in the washington am a d.c. area will recognize some of the addresses. emailer dresses, sometimes mobile phone numbers, but this was a hit list or target list that isis meant for sleep to sow a certain amount of psychological discord and create alarm and anxiety which is also -- always the goal of terrorism but encourage and enhance the power of the lone wolf. so, consequently, isis has changed the nature of terrorism in a very short span of time which i think means that it is not going to disappear or fade from the scene anytime soon. the fundamental challenges facing law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and security services today, not just in the u.s. but i would argue around the world, is not
to be overwhelmed by the threat of lone wolves, not to be focusing on one threat, not to be distracted by the low hanging fruit of comparatively unprofessional lone wolf but to pay serious attention to the spectrum of terrorist threats including those coming from more professional, better organized, planned traditional forms of terrorism. this may sound like a truism but i would argue this is precisely the trap that the french fell 2015.n the intense focus on lone wolf that was imposed on french authorities by the proliferation of the number of individuals who may have to trek, who they had to monitor and the degradation to their abilities because of the focus on one particular segment of the threat led perhaps tragically to the lowering of the guard and to the successful simultaneous suicide attacks that we saw. in conclusion, therefore, at a
time when -- of comparatively diminishing resources, at a time after a decade, decade and a half plus of the war on terrorism, when political will has been reduced, when our collective governments and countries are sapped by this ongoing war, what we see is a multiple occasion of new and even more challenging threats that means we can never let down our guard. thank you. [applause]
>> good afternoon. it is a pleasure to be here today. mattspeaking as the -- mentioned, i work in the threat of justice. what i am looking at is one small slice of this discussion that we having about lone wolf and stabbing attacks in israel committed by youth. recently, the eu came up with a terrorism trend report and identified a recent trend, it came up with 14 and up a 10 is the use of playing an increasingly independent operational role and committing terrorist attacks in eu countries. my conservation to today's panel is to preview some preliminary is -- research i started to work
on in israel and continuing here. this is a small issue. what i was interested in fatah takes did the specific action and did that play a role in encouraging engage use -- youths to in further violence? and israel this came up in 2015. in 2015, october alone, there were 59 terrorist attacks, 17 of those attacks were committed by youth, nearly a third. in october, i recall living in israel, there was a raging debate that erupted in the media to my what was causing this new wave of violent terror attacks by youth? -- in the media, what was causing this new wave of violent terror attacks by youth question ?ar an officialiew,
said that the wounds would be honored by allah. others took a different view. they said no, these terrorists including the youth, they were lone wolves, they were angry at the occupation, they were frustrated after peace talks one palestinian people said that 57% of those polled supported the return to an armed intifada. another expert applied it was a conflict combination of both of these factors. what i was looking at, what sparked my interest, with was what was actually happening on the ground? how many youth were committing attacks? and i started to study the specific attacks committed. numbers,troubling
there were 105 attacks that were committed by youth, their ages between 11 to 17. when we quantified the attacks, we quantified violent attacks, we took out information on the molotov cocktail, because we would trying to quantify stabbing. there was the question, what is the percentage of the 105 of the overall attacks committed during this time and the statistics that i found that between a quarter and a half of the attacks that were committed at the time. there was a dramatic increase in the stabbing attacks of youth and the research i have been conducting is trying to answer three different questions. number one, why? youthre these palestinian engaging in violent stabbing attacks? is there a connection between action for the fatah leadership glorifying the acts of the youth
and encouraging further attacks? and do we find a correlation exists, are there lessons that can be learned about the radicalization and incitement? the data that we found was there were four 11 and 12-year-olds, five 13-year-old, 59 16 euros and 20 17-year-olds. the attacksority of were stabbing attacks using knives. the next question we were looking at was specific. we were looking at glorification of the act of the youth i the palestinian authority and fatah. looked at arabic, english, hebrew, websites, all different types of information, different aspects, to identify whether the were taking specific actions to glorify the
is. we took the names of all the youth and ran it through databases to see if we could find act of glorification. that this is a specific study of things we did not include. in the study which i might look at over the summer, we did not include examples of glorification, there was a report that was issued by paestinian media watch on education that was issued this year, they found that education in institutions were teaching depicted youth as heroes and martyrs. the other thing we did not include were general statements, there were general statements by ah praising in general. we reflected specific actions on specific youth that committed
the attacks. just to be clear to give a fuller picture of what was going on, there were statements made that repudiated terrorism. the study wanted to focus on whether the actions were consistent with the statements. there was also during this time significant security cooperation between the pa and israel which helpful innt, very supporting terrorist attacks including attacks by youth. at the same time, there were many other factors of information that was released and that was available to the youth that were exposed to information by hamas, iso, there were social media accounts that were opened, one was called stab and the other [inaudible] there were many different accounts. there were instructional videos that were issued by terrorist organizations about how to kill a jew using a knife. there were many aspects that
could influence youth that were part of other studies. we were looking at whether there were acts of the leadership on specific acts of children. this is what we found. acts ofre, there were glorification by the pa, we found over 25 specific acts. what kind of information were we saying? we were saying actions such as giving the youth and official military funeral, publishing flyers, official flyers that condoned the view that the -- of the martyr. we have to examples of what that looks like. of ais a flyer 17-year-old. you can see the official symbol the right. and it says with pride and honor, the national liberation movement of the palestinian people shahid.s its brave
he was responsible for an attack that injured a soldier. here is another example of a military funeral that was one of our cases that we looked at formale was given a military funeral and on the bottom you see a flyer of three terrorists and a third statement reflect his name also being praised through the official channels. the next question we were looking at, is there a correlation? it's not what you would want to see in this context. we were looking at whether there was a correlation between the numbers of attacks glorifying the acts of the specific children and the commission of attacks or additional attacks? the results were fascinating. you will see here on top, the acts of glorification and you can see next, the terrorist
attacks by youth. what we can see so far and this is preliminary, there seems to be a correlation between statements of glorification and the number of terror attacks committed. there were many more attacks committed between october and march and it seems to be a sharp drop starting in april toward the end of september 2016. it was a dramatic drop in the acts of glorification and the terrorist attacks committed by youths. i'm not sure what it means at this stage. there could have been many environmental factors that had nothing to do with the glorification and maybe there is no correlation. the data i was looking at did not show causation. you could not say there was a specific statement of glorification that caused a specific response by the youth. that would be more complex. that would involve interviewing.
there was one example in the study, a 15-year-old, when she was interviewed, she was -- she murdered a 38-year-old mother of six. she said she was influenced in general by the palestinian television which had an influence. that was not an example of direct causation, one individual who they thought was influenced by what they saw on television. we interviewed different expert showing them the chart. we asked if there was a correlation. these are some views i've heard so far that i thought it would share. some experts were of the view that it was the upcoming report of the middle east quartet that due at the time that was going to address the issue of incitement and that led to a decrease understanding that the report would be released. others were of the view that palestinian society and individuals were upset that the
youths were engaging in violent attacks and numerous measures were taken including the reduction of glorification in order to actively discourage the youth from these attacks. some experts thought it was the israeli counterterrorism actions. people who understand the issue said it was a combination of all of the above. it seemed interesting in terms of two factors -- if you could quantify what the relevant input or influence of one form of glorification or incitement that might be helpful to counterterrorism study efforts. it's also important to look at the cumulative impact on a particular youth of all the different areas of incitement or influence that might be encouraging youth to act.
if you could find out what was encouraging them, you can find out how to discourage them, stop the attacks, and that might be equally helpful to the counterterrorism effort. [applause] >> excellent, thank you all very much. i would like to go last so that when all the good stuff is taken, i can come up with a few short nuggets and open up two q and a. we will start with what i guess you call a miracle but -- mea cu lpa. there are many of you who have sat in these chairs before and heard me speak at this podium before and i'm sure there is one or two of you who are keen to hear what i will say about the nature of lone wolf attacks him and that i've stood here in the past and said that the lone wolf idea is really largely a misnomer. i think when i said that at this podium, including once at an
event with bruce back in november, when i wrote this in two different foreign policy pieces in september and march of last or come i don't think i was wrong. counterterrorism is not static. when the islamic state was still remaining and expanding, to use its own terminology, and may be it was on its back heels and really sought to actively send returning foreign fighters back home to europe or elsewhere to direct and where it couldn't just enable terrorist attacks that might be carried out by a lone individual, may be a lone attack are a lone offender but not really a lone wolf. not really someone operating on his or her own. the counterterrorism report
raises concerns about the increase not only in the number of attacks over all, the number of inspired attacks overall but in particular, the number of attacks involving women is one of these new trends. i think we can look back at the speech in september, 2014 and more recently, may, 2016. the speech called on people that if you cannot come here, do things where you are as examples of the way in which the islamic state proactively tried to play on the situations in which at risk individuals, mostly youth, found themselves but then to provide people with some kind of capability. at the time, i felt that the era of the lone wolf was largely over because what we were seeing
more known was wolves then lone wolves, people who are on the radar of law enforcement one way or another. they were not completely unknown and they were having some type of connective tissue to an organized group even if they weren't originally recruited by that group or armed by the group, maybe the only way you could draw the line is through further radicalization and, in some cases, the provision of some intelligence to be able to carry out the attack. what we are seeing now at a time when the caliphate is not just on its back heels but is about to be destroyed, is something a little different. we are seeing a desire on the part of the islamic state to be able to perpetuate itself as an idea beyond the existence of its caliphate as a state as such. we're also seeing several other phenomenon. on the one hand, the caliphate
is about to end as such but the genie is out of the bottle. for those people wherever they are in the west, let's say, who have grievances and are reading the online propaganda, their memory will be short-lived. one of the radicalization messages that we are sure to start seeing if it's not out there already that there was a caliphate, it was not perfect, we made mistakes, but there was a caliphate and all we really wanted to do was to be left alone to live sharia compliant lives in the west would not have that, therefore it was destroyed. if we were allowed to progress, we would have become less brutal, more normal. the idea that there was recently a caliphate recently, a caliphate that did exist, whether or not it was rejected
by the vast majority of muslims who do not see this as a caliphate will be irrelevant to these individuals will be drawn to this message. they will be drawn by a medium that still exists, social media is able to penetrate every border into the basement of every home. people who have problems will still be drawn to these issues and i would argue that the grievances that have led people to be attracted to and have the cognitive opening for radical messages is in fact, if anything, on the rise. europeans have let in many refugees and migrants but they have not done a particularly good job of enabling them to assimilate into society. there are many ways in which this set of grievances is likely to expand. if you look the past few months, you can see groups trying to rebuild a new kind of propaganda specifically about the lone wolf's. i should stress that the ideas
not new. known was listening at that time but over time, people started to listen. you might recall there was an e-book how to survive in the west. you may recall that the bomber in new york and new jersey appears to have been inspired not by the islamic state that by anwar al alaki who was as radical in death as in life. over the past few months, the islamic state e-book was released to home school lone wolf's, as they put it. the lone wolf handbook written in turkish disseminated on telegram, in june.
there was a video noting attacks in melbourne, etc., calling for attacks in australia, america, canada, europe, and russia. of course, there was the rumia released in may with this large section called just terror tactics and hostagetaking with details on how to carry out acts of violence and how to acquire firearms and what might be the ideal types of targets for these attacks and how to execute people. what to do if you don't have a firearm, how to lure a target posted on online site that you have an apartment to rent and then lure people to the apartment and then kill them. something israel he security has had to deal with over the years,
etc. i should note that much like the case of rahimi who was radicalized, we need to be aware the same phenomenon might not have caught on and had momentum when it was claimed shortly after 9/11. it certainly is now. there is a competition between the remains of the islamic state and al qaeda which is causing al qaeda to pick up its game. al qaeda is very much on the rise. the washington institute just led a research and produced a volume edited by my colleague on how al qaeda has survived the arab spring and al qaeda has also begun to reintroduce the magazine inspire, a shorter version is very specifically on people who succeeded in carrying out attacks and how you can do the same. i think we need to not be so
caught up in one part of the threat that we don't see the others. the al qaeda threat is very serious. it's helpful to look at a report that talks about the spectrum of inspired, enabled, and directed plots. when it comes to those who are inspired and loan offenders, they write that these are individual attackers possibly but not necessarily being helped by family and friends as accomplices. they are inspired by jihadist propaganda messaging but not necessarily instructions from any particular group. i think we need to recognize that even as we have success on the battlefield against the islamic state, radicalization process is not linear. you can have someone was radicalized, maybe gets de-radicalized or disengages from radicalism but then events
can happen in that person and when you have social media available, messages can change and updated. people can be radicalized. i am of the opinion that so long as our strategy in syria is all and only about the islamic state and we are not paying particular attention to al qaeda or paying any attention to a guy named bashar al assad, that foreign fighters will still be there. there will still be more if we did dismantle the islamic state. i am drawn to a recent study on the likelihood that u.s. homegrown violent extremism will experience recidivism. they mention many cases in the
report and we need to take this to heart. there will be recidivism in terms of the people who return to radicalization. that means the likelihood of still more individuals acting on their own. i'm still not in love with the term loan wolves. it sort of makes them out to be big and powerful and maybe even honorable. they are not really wolves at all. if they are truly lone wolves, they have broken from the pack and have no connective tissue whatsoever which i would argue would have to include inspiration and that definitely exists. the problem of lone offenders or lone attackers is very real. while the israelis have done
some really interesting and effective work in being able to mine social media postings, not everyone is posting on the social media. even they are, we are not always able especially in a country the size of the united states compared to israel, able to mine that data in a timely matter and the biggest concern is not just the issue of encryption when you get to the inability to follow the messages that still exist between people who are part of a group, the problem is also that people can be radicalized, people are radicalized today so quickly. when i started my career in the fbi in the 1990's, there was a lead time. the flash to bank, the. of time from radicalization to mobilization can be very quick now. days or even hours. that does not leave law enforcement or intelligence a whole lot of leeway or much of a window to be able to catch on to what could happen very quickly. when you're talking about doing something as simple as picking up a knife or getting in a car or in this country, it's not difficult to get your hands on a
handgun, then we are talking about the very strong likelihood that as we move forward, as the islamic state continues to crumble, what i said last year will no longer be true. it will not only be true. it will still be the case that we will have enabled and even directed plots in the near term. those are likely to increase as the islamic state collapses. the report specifically says that there is data intelligence and concern of the islamic state trying to infiltrate trained operatives to be able to do things right now as they are collapsing at home. moving beyond that or parallel to that at the same time, the likelihood that individuals will try to carry things out on their own, i think increases. that means the nature of the threat will be more than just isis or al qaeda. it will not only be organized. it will also be something else
and that will be much more difficult for us to tackle even if, as you heard, the attacks they may be successfully carrying out are likely to be much less lethal. if you people killed or wounded, a bunch of people killed and wounded, is horrible and the terrifying effect, the terroristic effect it will have on society and the economy would be significant. thank you very much. [applause] this leaves us plenty of time for q&a so i will take you in the order i will see you. we'll start right here in the blue shirt, please. i will ping-pong across the room so we get everybody. >> thank you, i am retired u.s. foreign service. i want to follow up on some of
the remarks about what happens in israel. it's a possible inspiration of payments to families of prisoners or families who are killed. number one, how much do you think it's an inspiration those payments account for. number two, what is the likelihood that some governments either in the u.s. or the european union have suggested they make a linkage between those statements and the reduction of support for the palestinian authority. if indeed those types of payments were reduced or cut, what would be the likelihood of the effect of that? >> i think it's a good question. it's been in the media lately. pa gave out information with regards to its budget. i was looking at the information this week in the context of the study to look at the proportion of the budget and what was
happening in this context. the numbers are almost $200,000 in payments for martyr families. it would be the families of these children. it was a 9% increase from last year. i did not check the data with these names yet. i would like to do that but that would include paying the families of terrorists even if the terrorists attempted even if they did not succeed. as a parent of children and what influences children, i think children want to be able to be relevant. could influence a child that he knows if he commits a terrorist act that his family then gets paid money as a result of his heroic act, that's what he sees. i would imagine that could have a detrimental effect on a child. it's one of the things i was looking in the study. it's consistent messaging. as it relates to youth, most parents know that children do not do well with mixed messages. if educational institutions want to be consistent, they want to be consistent in the messages
they are giving. in all different channels. you would hope the education system would give a message that terrorism is wrong and not say anything that is praise of someone who committed a terrorist attack particular for children because you want to protect them and you would not want to see payment going to the families. the usual message is that this is a criminal act and criminal acts should be abhorred. there is no positive effect from committing a crime. that would be the kind of messaging consistent with trying to discourage violent terrorism.
>> right up here in the front. >> hi, i'm from the philadelphia inquirer. anyone wants to answer this, two things i'd like to ask -- is there a worry that individual attackers can develop techniques that would lead to larger numbers of casualties question -- number of casualties? the nice attack was one way and we have seen other attacks that had serious numbers. you can think of drones. you could think of things that an individual could concoct or might see on the internet. that's one thing i wanted to ask. let me stop there. >> i won't be able to go to sleep tonight. the good news is that loan offenders tend not to have great capabilities. for most of the things that are going to lead to larger casualties, you really need at least a little bit of training. explosives with chemical precursors, is not impossible and it's not like there are not people who have training
capability. but in general, you will see people who try to make explosives when they are just following directions off the internet as being sometimes successful. look at the boston marathon bombing. there are other things that are possible. i'm concerned in this country that you cannot only get a handgun but a fully automatic weapon. you can see in school shootings, you can certainly see it and in terrorist scenario, look at the weaponry that was found in san bernardino. that could have been worse. the vehicular attack is something of concern. dhs and other central bulletins at the time. there is a lot of attention being placed once again years after 9/11, different ways to protect infrastructure. there is now a concern especially recently with drones. we have seen the islamic state weaponize drones in the battlefield.
one of the concerns we have in general is that when somebody sees something succeeding, they can do it too. it's true for the loan offender in general. why might someone be more likely to be mobilized to violence today under certain circumstances than before? they have seen that others have done it and been lauded you to buy the islamic state or something else. when people have seen weaponize drones in iraq and syria, they might be thinking they can do that here and they can use any kind of drones. there are lots of concerns about this thing. the good news is that law enforcement is reanimated on the subject. do you want to jump in on that? >> may be i am less optimistic
than matt. i would say that we need to understand terrorism as a phenomenon. it's an evolving phenomenon. it's all the time changing and we cannot lay back and say what we know is what there is. on the other side, there are terrorists and there all the time looking for new methods and techniques, different targets and so forth. it's a cat and mouse chase. counterterrorist cannot lay back and say we are fine with that. having this in mind, i would not get into details i would say that i believe this is a growing phenomenon. it's not going to disappear. it's not going to change traditional terrorism. i definitely share with bruce and matt the concern. with organized terrorism and big attacks, the level of 9/11, we should not exclude that. on top of that, we are having the growing phenomenon that will challenge us in different ways all the time. i believe and hope that there are those people which carry the responsibility to prevent the terrorist attack and they are thinking about what will be the
next more effective tactic that the lone wolf might use. i have no doubt in my mind that those who are incited -- we heard about the incitement as a precursor of that activity. those who incite them and those who would teach them and give them the guidelines would try to be more effective and innovative in their thinking in this regard. >> i want to be more pessimistic. timothy mcveigh was not an archetypal lone wolf. nonetheless, he had no direct organizational connection. he was not carrying that out on behalf of an organization. the key variable was he was able
to get the information freely available which was 1995. it was infantile compared to the exchange of information now. my emphasis is always on the threat from organization and maybe not another 9/11 but certainly mumbai style or paris attacks. it is worrisome you have now a mess of people that can access the information more easily. you also have a large number of foreign fighters. 40,000 over several countries
and not all of them will be killed off despite optimistic hopes they will. some will come back and be part of an organized campaign but some may be the lone wolves of tomorrow. they may have the same military expertise that timothy mcveigh had. the nature of terrorism is possibly evolving and changing. never in a good way. when i began my professional career as a terrorism analyst in 1991, he worked on the stare for the american intelligence community that maps the attributes of groups during the 1960's and 70's and the two most common vocations were teachers and medical doctors. teachers was often philosophy professors. those of you who have been at university, if you're not a philosophy professor, you may have a limited technological capability. but think of what's happening today, more and more engineers and scientists are being drawn into terrorism. there is an excellent book about the engineers of jihad and that proves there is an alarmingly high proportion of individuals in jihadi groups that have engineering backgrounds. khaled sheikh mohammed, the world trade center attack was engineered. as more engineers, to terrorism, it's the potential for more lone wolf's.
i focus on the organizations that there is the potential for lone wolves to be more dangerous and consequential and that's growing. >> the microphone is coming around and your answer makes me think that we are focusing largely on the islamic state and al qaeda and islamist inspired but there is an equally important need to pay attention to the rise of terrorism and potential homegrown terrorism from the left-wing and right-wing weather tends to be people who have military expertise of the type that could make things more dangerous. >> thank you very much for this terrific presentation. you talked about, you praise the internet as a tool for understanding and from there we can develop counter messaging. as the terrorism researcher, i guess you would support unimpeded access to this content online.
have you thought about to what extent you would support taking this material down? what sort of material would you say would be ok to do >> to take -- to do, to take down from the internet? it's a great question. maybe i would have. it's always calculating between the ability to monitor over the internet, what they do and say in what they plan and trying to prevent the radicalization process and maybe even communication through the internet. between you and me, this is a lost war. we cannot prevent them. even if we would have wanted to, we cannot kill the internet or control the misuse of the internet. it's always an effort. i would say what can be done and should be done is to identify
those negative and dangerous messages and then used to tracks. one is the need to develop a new type of big data capability that will monitor all the discourse over the internet, over the social networks, it can be done and is being done today but it should be much more sophisticated in order to identify the early stages of radicalization, not just with keywords but also with sentiment over the internet and much more developed systems and there is a need to develop a doctrine of how to work with this new data because it was mentioned that
even if you know that somebody said that, what do you do with that now? there is no longer preparation the guy could save something over the internet and grab a knife and be waging jihad in his view. there is a lot to do here that can be done and needs to be done in this respect. the beginning of it is the cooperation of the internet services, facebook, google telegram and others that need to be more cooperative. they are more quite of them they used to be much more cooperative because they bear a lot of responsibility. if they do not do it on a
volunteer basis, i would definitely beat them in their pockets meaning if they do not cooperate in preventing and closing those insightful messages, i would encourage the victims of terrorism and the families to sue them for not doing that. >> over here on the right. >> excuse me, a failed academic philosopher. [laughter] you spoke about the need to monitor the internet to try to identify in a more sophisticated way. there has been a lot of discussion about the need to develop effective countermeasures but no one has really elaborated on where that stands. i wonder if any of the members of the panel could tell us where you think we are not in identifying terrorism using the
internet but in developing counter messaging, whatever terminology you want to use. is that really an effective countermeasure in your judgment,? thank you >> let's jump into say that this is an area where we did not have a lot of movement and suddenly we do. i would point to the google efforts and on youtube. to redirect people when they do certain searches to certain counter messaging. not just a decision to redirect it's a pretty big deal for them to make this determination. to what do you redirect them towards an google has done pretty cutting-edge research recently on what messages work, sending people to interview people captured from isis are people who defected from isis.
sending people to work and interview people working committees in europe to see what's working and interviewing mothers etc. and some temp jewel do some tangible work and coming up with pretty effective counter messaging tools. one things they are grappling with, this is nonstatic. the situation of the islamic state is changing. how much of the genie is out of the bottle and only the west would leave us alone, it would have gotten better. it would lead to the poor cultureization of refugees or the responsibility of the west that will continue to happen in
syria and maybe even in iraq. we need to think how that message is changing. you need to assume it's not. there is a lot of work being done there. you are talking about countermeasures. >> i would say that i believe we're still far understanding the narrative that we can develop the counter narrative there is lots to be done to understand the narrative. i was hinting in my presentation one way of thinking. i definitely believe in that. we do some research trying to understand that much more and have evidence-based information on that.
i believe the concept of the honorable thing to do is the narrative. by the way, the flip side is he really is. if you analyze the propaganda of these organizations all over the world, the common denominator starts with al qaeda, moving on to isis, you will find in most cases, the concept that that's what you need to do because this is the honorable thing to do or you need to be vengeful for this or for that. it always has to do with honor and humiliation. the counter narrative to this is the honorable thing to do. who can do that? the only one who can counter the
narrative of the honorable thing to do is the muslims themselves. we need to make it clear to them that they are not doing any favors to us by conveying this message, that this is not the honorable thing to do, this is not what your religion expect you to do. it must come from the muslim community and it does not come from there, i we are all -- i don't want to use the term, we are all in big trouble. >> in the back, please. >> from the university of maryland. it's typical for these conversations to adhere to a strictly path that we are talking about individuals. there are psychological angles to this.
there is no evidence that idiosyncratic objectives become strongly aligned with the objective of terrorist organizations. i wonder if you would comment on how important you think it is to understand the it is missing the idiosyncratic dimension. >> i did not plant that question. i will take the opportunity to say that yes, we recently did a bipartisan study in extremism focused in the united states. the first one we have done focused in the united states but others internationally. one of our bison just bipartisan findings was it's important to have a public health model that will think about this in a much
broader way, not to the exclusion of law enforcement. in connection with law enforcement because there is such a personal psychological piece of this that is driving people. there were either grievances or ideology and there could be a different combination. we lack understanding enough. we are beginning to have understanding in the most important is that every single case will be different. we can find the things we can expect to see them figure out the proportions of each for each particular case. because many people will be very confused people, this is someone in terms of the islamist orientation, he describes himself as islamic state but not understanding the differences between different groups in
there literally fighting each other tooth and nail. that was not the issue. are all groups that would be able to do something honorable and remove humiliation. therefore, it's critically important to be able to address both, the social political and the psychological. the environmental and the local global issue and grievance as well. any approach that would be effective has to address all of those. the model would have us do things at a societal level that would make society strong and when you find a place that is susceptible like a neighborhood or school, you do extra things there. when you find people affected by the message, you go in and start doing things specifically for
that individual. we go into it in detail. i think it's critically important not because public health is now instead of public terrorism or a set of law enforcement intelligence but it's in tandem. the best example is the one you gave, omar mateen. law enforcement will tell you how frustrating it is to investigate him in many other cases including four big ones in the united states were things happened and run those investigations into the ground and realize there is nothing to hold these people honor convict them of, strange, and that noxious speech is protected in this country and should be and yet there was no one to hand this person off to, no local network to say this person clearly has disturbing attributes going on. then it became arrest or nothing in the option. for those who think the public health model is weak on you have a counterterrorism problem, you invite law enforcement and its law enforcement will help because there will not always be a law-enforcement solution. >> i want to jump in in order to
pave the way for bruce to answer the question. first of all, i think your question is a very important question. the fact that this is being sent -- this propaganda is being sent to summary people but some a alluded to the messages is proof that you are right, the psychological aspect is true. i defer to myself as a student of bruce but i don't want to take his time. to understand how important this fact is so i handed over to bruce. >> i'm tempted to quote another of our colleagues, brian jenkins, who says when we look into the soul of a person whether he can become a terrorist or not, that's one of the main challenges. i don't think there is any profile. it's even more challenging because of social media introducing different types.
there's some who could be spotted others who are not. >> that's the case that marlene was looking at. since you are too humble, i will plug the latest addition of inside terrorism. you will not take it out of libra, just buy it and then read it. can we have a microphone over here please? >> i am with americans for decent tolerance. i'm interested in the and he gritty of the distribution of messaging especially in reference to the marlene study. i'm curious whether you had any sense in your study of the mechanisms of distribution. you mentioned there were pro-flyers instate funerals and incentives. did you find that there are certain locations that have
different concentrations of each type of encouragement? did you find there are certain population centers are certain geological features that contribute to where the different types of messaging go and perhaps how many or what type of people they affect? >> it's an interesting question because i was just thinking about that angle of distribution this week. it's as it relates to suicides. i was interviewing an expert in washington and they were -- i was trying to understand what official glorification would be more egregious than other glorification and they were explaining that when their acts like a suicide, they create a suicide prevention program and they're trying to prevent any official ceremonies, official acts. in the studies i was reading, they say that when they're trying to do analysis as to how
many circles and people then get influenced. the study has not gone to that level of resolution. in the funerals it's simple. you can see they are attended by thousands of people. it's very clear that the information is widely distribute and-- rightly distributed is why the understanding of the youth, from an instinctive basis, you go to a funeral with friends and it's an official funeral with all the bells and whistles, every kind of honor that can be given that reaches thousands. it's what you can do with the process of peace. you want a culture to educate children on both sides of the conflict for peace. to the extent that you have glorification of terror acts and violence it's an inconsistent , message. >> the question over here. raise your hand.
>> thank you very much for this interesting presentation. i'm a counterterrorism writer. the discussion of the psychological aspects, it reminds me of jessica stern at harvard once said that terrorists are trying to reinvent themselves. there is another dimension and i would like to get your take on another aspect. you talked a little bit about dealing with the internet and counter messaging. of thealuation effectiveness of this so far, but also the effort to reach out to local communities. dhs and fbi try to reach out to local communities here. the british and the dutch have had various program's there. bruce referred to resource
issues and dhs is cut back on their local grants. the funding efforts have been sitting on the seventh floor waiting to be approved. do you have any evaluation so far? do you think we will have much chance of success. >> i can say one thing about the -- about that, and maybe it's a little harsh a position i would say. there was a lot of effort eating done and led by the obama administration in the united states and with the europeans. i believe that cbe is crucial. there is a need to bring the vast majority of muslims around the world who do not support terrorist activists to counter the narrative in an effective manner.
it's their job. but the problem, in my view, is that those efforts in most cases were very apologetic. they come with a very cautious fear to deal with the problem itself. i think it should be done differently. when you reach out to the muslim community, the message should be, god for bid, we have nothing against islam or any other religion whatsoever. there is no problem with islam but there is a big problem in islam right now which represents a small minority but a very dangerous minority. i was talking with a muslim imam and he said to a european crowd, how do you refer to islam as if it has something to do with terror? islam is a religion of peace and jihad is doing this atrocity. i said thank you from the bottom my heart that you shared this important messages with us. why do you spend your valuable time on us?
you should preach this every day to your believers, your people in the sudan, iraqi, afghanistan, telling those people beheading innocent civilians under the name of islam that what they do is against islamic concept. not as a favor to us but in order to defend what you believe. i think that's the message that needs to be given to the muslim community. >> here in the united states, it's critically important that our cve efforts be as granular as possible and community let as possible. the communities need to work at the most granular level like librarians are schoolteachers or what have you. it's the strategy to build strong communities and protect
the u.s. homeland. i will not lie to you, this is a bipartisan study so that was a heavily negotiated title. especially as there is ongoing debate and discussion about how and at what level the federal government should be involved in this space, we have these debates under the obama administration with concerns about legal issues precluding federal government for getting involved. and currently we have ongoing debates with the trump administration as to how it's going to be with dealing with different types of violent extremism. it's all the more important for this to be something that is state and local driven. there is some excellent examples in los angeles, a different
model in boston. in minneapolis. i think that's the last lesson is that we should not be looking for one model that will work the same way in all parts of united states but rather state and local authorities should decide what works best for them. in massachusetts, the state office of homeland security is very involved with the state health and human services. that is not the way it's working today in los angeles with the mayor's office which is working closely with the local representative of the federal department of homeland security. it's an entirely different model in minneapolis and many other places. it has to be a model that works for them, and when you have that model working, you need to have religious leaders involved. the need to have that message because as you've heard from many of us, those of us in the context of radical islamist extremism, those of us were not muslims are not credible messengers on this issue.
we have a mic up here for sarah? this will be our last question. >> thank you so much, this is really excellent from all of you. my question is for all of you but particularly, in light of what you said, boaz, it's extremely important that we encourage the moderate voices within islam not only moderate but these are performers within islam. i have gotten to know a lot of them very personally, people n likeoni darwish and others. he calls me his jewish mother. it's extraordinarily frightening
for them. they are all in hiding. them when weourage hs against are fatwa all of them? >> i have a slightly different view. as uneven the progress that is being made, we are facing the challenge. islamic state is now saying -- come and exact revenge. as challenging as it has in to frame the message to the people who have answered on more ideological bases. you're talking about the visceral emotion known to man, which is retaliation. the challenge is how do you frame it message that has more to do with catharsis of violence, empowerment of violence, the fact that violence is good it feels good, how do we counter the message?
moderate voices will be enormously important to we have to think differently about how we address a changing message from a terrorist organization. >> absolutely. we could go on for a long time but everyone has busy schedules. thank you all are taking the time today. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
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